In time for Valentine’s
Hyundai’s new Veloster, a coupe/crossover, has hit the Australian market just in time for Valentine’s Day
HYUNDAI has spiced up its Australian model line-up with the innovative, headturning compact coupe/crossover.
Dubbed the Veloster and built on the new Elantra platform, the stylish threedoor made its debut at the Detroit motor show in January last year.
The standout feature of the Veloster is that it has two doors on one side and a single door on the other— a feature that simplifies rear-seat access.
Already on sale in Korea and the US from last year, Veloster underwent steering and suspension tweaking in Australia to tune it for local conditions.
In a racy red, it’s the perfect match for young couples and is on the market just in time for Valentine’s Day on Tuesday.
It’s definitely bound to turn heads and have Gen Y motorists more than a little bit lovestruck.
Unlike the Mini wagon that has a similar one-side extra door set-up, for right-hand-drive markets the Veloster’s rear-hinged unit is on the left-hand or kerb side for passenger safety rather than the driver’s side as is the case on the right-hand-drive Mini. TECHNOLOGY: Veloster buyers will have the choice of mating a new 1.6-litre, direct-injection, petrol four with either a new six-speed dual-clutch automatic or a manual box with the same number of cogs.
The auto is Hyundai’s first dual-clutch unit and it was developed in-house. It endows the sexy little coupe witha5or 6 per cent boost in fuel efficiency and a 3 to 7 per cent improvement in acceleration.
The new so-called Gamma engine is the smallest Hyundai makes and delivers 103kw at 6300rpm and 167Nm at 4850rpm.
Hyundai claims fuel-consumption of a pretty miserly 5.9-litres during highway cruising.
The engine has dual continuously variable valve timing, electronic throttle control, variable induction, antifriction coatings and diamond-like carbon coatings.
It rides on a Macpherson-strut front and rear end with mono-tube dampers for enhanced ride comfort.
In the safety department, Veloster scores a full suite of the good stuff including vehicle-stability-management.
Styled at Hyundai’s studio at the Namyang R and Dcentre, the designers drew their inspiration from a highperformance sport motorcycle.
Black A-pillars give the windscreen a motorcycle helmet look.
Inside is dominated by a centre stack and controls that also have a motorcycle as their inspiration.
Also borrowed from the motorcycle is the floor-mounted centre-console armrest that has been designed to look like a bike seat. SAFETY: In Euro NCAP testing, the sporty little Veloster scored the equal highest rating for adult passenger safety, with 96 per cent, while child safety was rated the highest score in the latest tests at 89 per cent. Safety-assist technologies were rated a bit lower in comparison, with a score of 71 per cent. DRIVING: In Korea for a first sample of the Veloster, we were limited to a short section of the Namyang proving ground known as the ‘‘high-speed handling road’’ and it was a section of bitumen that did not quite live up to its title.
That said, we were able to get the Veloster up to about 150km/h and throw it with some enthusiasm through a few corners in the US spec cars at our disposal.
The little car sat nice and flat through the corners and it seemed to point and turn-in well.
However, the electronic stability system did kick in with a degree of intrusion if you pushed things too hard for its liking.
But the initial impressions were good and if the steering and suspension-tuning program undertaken in Australia delivers the goods, the Veloster will hold its own in the handling stakes.
The new dual-clutch six-speed automatic works a treat and appears to be as good as anything from Europe.